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On 19 January 2021, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) upheld two separate rulings (1, 2) against environmental claims on made on drink products. Whilst the rulings are not related to cosmetic products, the assessment and background of the ruling is still relevant because similar claims can be made on cosmetic products.
The rulings investigated environmental claims related to the use of recycled and recyclable plastic, including “100% recycled content” with various approaches into qualifying that, while the bottle was made from recycled plastic sources, the cap and/or label were not. In both cases, the ASA established that introducing clarifying statements, either as part of the claim or through a separate disclaimer, should make apparent to the consumer to which extent of the packaging the claim is related to, and should not add to the confusion. In both cases, it was upheld that the consumer would be likely to understand that the product packaging in its entirety was obtained from recycled plastic.
Companies are reminded that claims can also be misleading is what they say is factually correct or true, but the impression they give consumers about the environmental benefit of a product is deceptive as a result of the overall presentation of the claim, including the omission of relevant information, as sated under the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) Green Claims Code. Further advice from CTPA and reference to the relevant legal requirements from the ASA and the CMA are available on the CTPA Guide to Environmental and Green Claims.